A city centre office building originally designed to house Woolworths in the 1960s is to be revamped and "turned around" in a £13 million renovation project.
102 New Street, known for its glass-enclosed lift which overlooks the busy street, is to undergo a major overhaul which will include relocating its main entrance to Stephenson Street at the building's rear.
The development team behind the project says the step is intended to tap into the new Midland Metro extension from Snow Hill and make the building one of the first major office complexes people see when they leave that side of New Street station.
Previously known as The Charters, the ten-storey building now has retailers Boots and Superdrug and restaurant Bella Italia as its ground floor tenants.
The office space above is mainly vacant and existing tenants, except for London Midland, will move out before renovation starts, with work phased around the rail operator.
The 112,000 sq ft project will see the Stephenson Street side stripped back to its skeleton and reclad to provide a more contemporary appearance while storey-height windows will be added to bring daylight into the offices.
This side will also have a new double-height reception area fronting onto Stephenson Street and the top three floors will be extended to provide views across New Street station and the city (see CGI below).
On the New Street side, new glazing and signage will be added, aimed at transforming the appearance of the building while the 'wall climber' lift will be removed and remodelled into meeting space overlooking the street.
Evenacre, the firm which worked on the refurbishment of 158 and 170 Edmund Street in the Colmore Business District, is managing the development.
Managing director Paul Jones said: "Switching the primary elevation and entrance of the building from New Street to Stephenson Street is in direct response to the introduction of the tram and the transformation of the train station.
"These changes will help to revitalise Stephenson Street from an under-used back street to what will become a vibrant, primary arrival point to the city.
"Located just a short distance from Colmore Business District, our reoriented building will be the closest grade A commercial space in the city to this new hub."
LaSalle Investment Management has submitted the plans on behalf of the building's owner HSBC Bank Pension Trust (UK).
The revamp has been designed by city practice Associated Architects, whose director Matthew Goer said: "Reusing and retaining existing commercial stock and updating it to bring it line with grade A standards is undoubtedly the most sustainable option for development - saving money, time and helping to protect the environment.
"Although the original building is tired and dated in appearance, the fabric is robust and our proposals will breathe new life into the building, ensuring the highest of standards for new occupiers while minimising the construction impact on the city."
The application is expected to be decided later this spring and, if consent is granted, work will commence in the summer.
Property consultancies CBRE and JLL have been appointed as joint agencies.